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A done deal

10 Jul 2019

A done deal Image

The long road to completion of the Boyd site appears to finally be nearing its end after the City of Melbourne struck a deal with PDG Corporation last month.

Lord Mayor Sally Capp and PDG’s managing director Vince Giuliano appeared with Southbank Residents’ Association (SRA) president Tony Penna on July 4 to announce the $16.5 million deal for the 1843 sqm site abutting Kings Way and Kavanagh St.

While the new 110-metre development has increased in height from what was originally proposed for the site (87m), the new deal includes 1000 sqm of new community space across its first two floors - 450 sqm more than what council requested in its tender.

The parcel of land at 132 Kavanagh St has also had its previous footprint reduced from 2356 sqm to provide for a larger Boyd Park, which is due to open this year. The park and Boyd Community Hub together with the new community space in the development will now account for 6684 sqm of the precinct.

The new development with PDG, which will achieve a 6-star Green Star certification, also includes 40 affordable housing units, residential apartments, a boutique hotel and retail facilities. Subject to planning approval, construction on the development is expected to begin late next year and be completed in 2022.

Following a series of failed attempts to develop the site with previous partner Mackie Group, which dated back to 2011, Lord Mayor Sally Capp said the agreement was a “win for the community”.

“We’ve negotiated a fantastic outcome to deliver community facilities and affordable housing at the Boyd site, putting the needs of a growing Southbank community at its heart,” the Lord Mayor said.

“Frankly, the care that has been taken on this important site I think is appropriate. After the issues with the last process we feel really confident that we’ve ended up with an even better result.”

The City of Melbourne is already partnering with PDG Corporation on the $450 million Munro development opposite the Queen Victoria Market (QVM), which includes affordable housing and 490 build-to-rent residences; a component Mr Guiliano said he wouldn’t rule out for the Boyd development.

“Similar to the Munro mixed-use development, we will deliver a precinct that reflects its distinct local character, bringing together various community spheres in one location,” Mr Giuliano said. “Our vision is a true vertical village on the park – high-quality residences, affordable housing, fine-grain retail and community facilities.”

“It’s not often you get an opportunity to develop in a location like this. There are no adjoining high-rise buildings and an abundance of green open space, making it prime for a community atmosphere of residential and commercial spaces.”

The deal marks the end of a long journey for the community and the City of Melbourne, which purchased the entire site, formerly home to JH Boyd Girls School, back in 2007.

While the heritage school building at 207 City Rd was converted into the Boyd Community Hub and opened in 2012, the site at 132 Kavanagh St went through multiple failed iterations since 2011 with council’s previous development partner the Mackie Group.

Under the previous deal, the developer was expected to deliver the park as part of an 87-metre mixed-use development. As well as providing affordable housing, the original proposal also included plans for specialised services for people living with a disability.

After the arrangements with Mackie fell over twice due to financing issues, the City of Melbourne got on with building the park itself, which was informed by the local community following consultation and workshops last year.

SRA president Tony Penna said that while residents were disappointed that the entire site was not designated for a park, the outcome struck with PDG Corporation was “a good balance”.

“It’s been a long road,” Mr Penna said at the July 4 announcement. “While residents have been lobbying hard to preserve that space as all open space, we believe that this is a good balance between what is required from council’s perspective and what the needs of the community are.”

“We’re particularly excited about the 1000 sqm of community space over two levels of that building which we were certainly lobbying for before that process for that to be included in the process, so we’re happy that council has listened to the community.”

“We’re also very happy with the win on the reduction of the footprint so at the end of the day I think it’s a great result for the community and particularly with the affordable living and the care that has now gone into this final stage; care that we think hasn’t been given in the past.”

Due to council policy dating back to 2014, Mr Penna said he was disappointed that the $16.5 million windfall from the site would be directed into a fund for the renewal of QVM. “It was certainly a topic of angst with the community when we knew the sale was going to happen,” Mr Penna said.

In response, Cr Capp said: “It doesn’t mean that, as a council, we’re not aware of the investment that is required in this neighbourhood. Wherever those funds come from, it’s actually about where we are delivering.”

The Lord Mayor said council would also be consulting the community on what the 1000 sqm of new community space would be used for. With the current library and many services in the Boyd Community Hub already stretched, it’s understood that many of these services could be relocated to the new development.

What do you think of the new deal? Send your thoughts to news@southbanklocalnews.com.au

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